Third-round of Zurich Classic suspended; set to resume at 7 a.m. Monday — weather permitting _lowres

Vijay Singh talks on his phone as he walks down the 18th fairway after play was suspended due to inclement weather during the third round of the PGA Zurich Classic golf tournament at TPC Louisiana in Avondale, La., Sunday, May 1, 2016. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Updated 4:45 p.m.: PGA Tour officials suspended the third round of the Zurich Classic of New Orleans for the day at 4:40 p.m. following a 6-hour, 32-minute weather delay. The tournament will be shortened to 54 holes and players will try to return to the rain-soaked TPC Louisiana course at 7 a.m. Monday — weather permitting — to finish the tournament.

Original story: The third round of the weather-plagued Zurich Classic of New Orleans resumed Sunday at 7:30 a.m. with golfers getting a little more than 2½ hours of play in before the third rain delay of the tournament.

PGA Tour officials cleared the course at 10:08 a.m. with a large band of severe thunderstorms approaching the TPC Louisiana layout from the west.

The third round got under way at noon Saturday, but was suspended 76 minutes later after only 48 of the 82 players who made the 36-hole cut were able to start their rounds. Play was eventually cancelled for the day at 5:30 p.m. following a 4-hour, 14-minute delay, with the stoppage coming up 38 minutes shy of the delay of 4 hours, 52 minutes in Thursday’s opening round.

When play was officially called late Saturday afternoon, PGA Tour rules official Steve Carman said any stoppage in play after the tournament resumed Sunday would likely result in a Monday finish.

Carman said the No. 1 goal was to complete the 72-hole tournament, but he left open the possibility it could be shortened to 54 holes if the weather held off Sunday to get the third round in.

But even that appeared unlikely with more rain expected later today, while the forecast calls for an 80 percent chance of rain Monday.

Second-round leader Brian Stuard started the third round at 12-under, while Jhonattan Vegas and Jamie Lovemark were tied for second at 11-under.

Vegas came out of the chute with a birdie at the first hole to join Stuard at the top of the leaderboard and both players added a birdie at the par-5 second hole to move to 13-under. They were playing No. 6 when play was suspended.

Bobby Wyatt, who started the third round at 6-under, had an eagle and five birdies to shoot a 30 on the front nine and move into third at 12-under.

Follow Sheldon Mickles on Twitter, @MicklesAdvocate.